“It was important for me to demonstrate that the Dominican Republic was different and not another version of Cuba, for example. It was a very strange example of how colonialism and then US imperialism developed extremely differently…In tracing that difference we can see other ways of performing blackness and what we might call hispanicity in the Americas”
– Professor Dixa Ramirez
If our first episode examined some of the roots at Yale which led to the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, this episode turns towards the scholarly routes available for the future. Eager to hear about cutting edge work this episode features a conversation with Professor Dixa Ramirez, Assistant Professor of American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. Ramirez’s path-breaking work in her forthcoming book provides the basis for much of this episode as we discuss the relationship between exile and migration, the oversimplification of the Dominican Republic as a locus of anti-blackness, and what it means to have an Ethnic Studies education.
Ramirez also shares important details about her own professional progression. Beginning as an undergraduate at Brown University studying Japanese literature she details what it meant to go to the University of California, San Diego where Ramirez completed a dissertation which is the basis for her forthcoming book from New York University Press, At The Navel of the Americas: Transnational Dominican Narratives of Belonging and Refusal. This is an exciting conversation that looks at the stakes of scholarship that challenges the limits of certain disciplines and makes clear the significant relationship between literature, national identity and politics.
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